On our trip to Seattle this summer, we checked out the Ballard Locks, also known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. This popular tourist attraction includes locks, fish ladder, and a botanical garden.
We had no problem finding the locks using Google Maps. There was plenty of parking, but being a popular attraction, parking was pretty filled up, so plan accordingly. We used a paid lot, but if you visit the Ballard Locks website, there is information about free parking.
Walking from the parking lot to the locks, we walked through a garden area. While we didn’t spend much time at the gardens, it was nice to see some of the pretty greenery.
Once we reached the locks, which is a very short walk, there were already ships lining up. We joined other spectators as ships lined up and prepared for the locks to open.
It takes a while for the boats to dock and prepare for the locks to open.
You can watch as the water levels rise and lower as the locks open and close.
After watching the boats pass through the locks, we walked over to the fish ladders on the other side.
As we walked over the bridge, we saw a harbor seal and a giant jellyfish as well.
You can view the migrating salmon June through September. We saw the outer part of the locks as we walked downstairs to view the salmon underwater. There is a lot of educational information about the fish and their journey.
On the far side of the locks, there are areas to walk and sit. We were lucky to visit on a nice August day, with sunshine and warm weather.
Visit the Ballard Locks at http://www.ballardlocks.org/
You can also take a Seattle Locks Cruise, a great way to experience the locks from the water!