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Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks in Seattle

Things To Do in Seattle – Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks

The Ballard Locks: Seattle’s Waterfront Miracle

The Ballard Locks is an artificial wonder of the world. Built-in 1917, this canal connects Elliott Bay with Lake Union and Salmon Bay to the Ship Canal that runs through Seattle’s industrial district. It was designed by Hiram M. Chittenden, chief engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), who also built locks on the Panama Canal.

Located in the heart of Ballard, this historic landmark was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and is now part of Shilshole Bay Marina. The locks are used to connect Puget Sound with Lake Union for boats coming from sea level. It’s a great place to stop along your waterside route through Seattle!

In this blog post, we will explore how one man’s vision created what many consider Seattle’s most important landmark: The Ballard Locks!

History of Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks

They are also known as Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. They were named after an engineer who served with trailblazers John C. Frémont and George Bancroft before becoming a chief engineer at the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Irrigation Survey (USGS). He then moved on to work on multiple canal systems before heading up construction at Ballard locks between 1904 and 1917.

The Ballard Locks is a National Historic Landmark, and yet it has undergone significant renovations in recent years. There are three different locks here, one for boats, one for fish, and a small lock where you can walk through to see how things work. In addition to being an excellent viewpoint from which you can watch freighters, tugs, barges, and seaplanes go by, this area also hosts festivals throughout the year, such as Wooden Boat Festival & Seafair Weekend.

The locks are used to connect Puget Sound with Lake Union for boats coming from sea level. They are also known as Ballard Locks. It’s a great place to stop along your waterside route through Seattle! The site is located in the heart of Ballard; this historic landmark was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and is now part of Shilshole Bay Marina.

Facts about the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks

Ballard Locks is a fantastic feat of engineering that allows boats to navigate between Puget Sound and the freshwater lakes. This is made possible by a system of locks, which lift or lower vessels as they pass through this section of Seattle’s ship canal. One good way to explore The Ballard Locks: Seattle’s Waterfront Miracle is to visit one of two historic ships – either the SS Nenana or the USS Turner Joy. These retired war vessels now serve as floating museums for visitors to enjoy learning about what life was like onboard these men-of-war. Visitors can climb around inside both ships and even get in some time at the controls!

Until recently, there were several other attractive available at The Ballard Locks: Seattle’s Waterfront Miracle. A trip to the fish ladder is a great way to see salmon and other sea creatures on their journey. The locks are also home to an ongoing exhibit of marine life called “Fish in Art.”

This is a rotating display of paintings that depict various local species. If you are interested in the history behind The Ballard Locks: Seattle’s Waterfront Miracle, be sure to check out the nearby Hiram M Chittenden Locks Visitor Center. Here, visitors can learn how this vital piece of infrastructure got built and what it means for everyday life here on Puget Sound today.

The Ballard Locks were completed more than 100 years ago but continue to serve as an integral part of Seattle’s waterfront experience!

Reminders before Visiting Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks Tour

The Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks also offer locks tours year-round, so make sure to take advantage of this opportunity if you don’t want to visit during peak summer months or only have time in between. Seasons like fall and winter!

The Ballard Locks: Seattle’s Waterfront Miracle is a tour you can’t miss. Not only does it allow for beautiful views of the water and mountains, but you’re also able to see how locks work and experience their history and development over time. This post will help guide your way around these iconic landmarks on this particular boat tour!

One thing to note about the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks is that they are open seven days per week from May through September and every day except Thanksgiving Day. Make sure not to make plans during those months if you want to visit them!

As mentioned above, two different boats are available at the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks: the tour boat and a vessel that can go through them! The former is recommended for those visiting as it offers comprehensive information about how they work, but both are great depending on what you’re looking to experience.

There are also plenty of other things to see and do on the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks tour, including views of Seattle’s skyline as well as some fantastic fishing spots. The locks themselves even provide an opportunity for bird watching!

If you’re planning to visit the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks and want to see as much of Seattle’s waterfront as possible, try taking a day trip from downtown! This way, you can explore both areas without having to worry about transportation or time constraints!

If it’s your first time visiting the locks, be sure not to miss out on this tour – especially if you have any interest in history or science. You won’t regret making this stop along with your vacation!

What to see on The Ballard Locks: Seattle’s Waterfront Miracle

Historic Ships (tugboats, lightship)

Salmon Ladder (fish ladder)

Visitor Center + Exhibits for Kids

Public Observation Stands

Snack Bar & Gift Shop (Treats at Ivar’s Salmon House)

Viewing Platforms & Inflatable Raft Rentals (Imagine a rubber boat floating in the water!)

The walkway around Lake Union

Shilshole Marina

Fishermen’s Terminal Pier 66 Seattle Seahawks Experience

Viewing Deck

Fishing Piers & Dock (Free) – Crab Pot Rentals, Bait Shop + Fish Cleaning Station

View of Industrial Area on the Ship Canal Bridge Run Ballard to Fremont Race Series Seattle’s Waterfront

Location and Accessibility

The Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks are easily accessible by car, bus, bike, or foot. It’s located at 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, United States. The locks themselves are open seven days per week.

Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, United States
Hours:
Monday 7am–9pm
Tuesday 7am–9pm
Wednesday 7am–9pm
Thursday 7am–9pm
Friday 7am–9pm
Saturday 7am–9pm
Sunday 7am–9pm

Phone: +1 206-780-2500
Website: ballardlocks.org

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