Ballard Locks, Seattle
It interesting to see the locks, the fish ladder and the garden. Be mindful where you stand so that you are not in the way when they open the gates.
It is best not to do a city tour because they do not take you deep into the garden.
More formally known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, this engineering marvel is a fascinating thing to watch. Located on the north western side of Seattle, the locks provide a simple, effective way to raise boats between the Pacific Ocean up 20 - 22 feet to freshwater Lake Union.
The most common way to access the locks is from the Ballard neighborhood north of the channel. Walking from the street, there's also a wonderful Botanical Garden that's worth seeing all on its own.
There's also a fish ladder, which enables fish to jump up in a somewhat more tiring way than the boaters have to!
Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA
Phone: (206) 783-7059
Formally known as the Hiram Chittenden Locks, this park also includes a salmon ladder and botanical garden.
The locks provide and connection for vessels of all sizes travelling between Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Many of the Alaskan fishing boats leave through here and its fun to talk to the crews and watch the line handlers as the boats move through the lock.
The salmon ladder provides a means for sallmon who are swimming upstream to bypass the dam and locks as they make their way back to their breeding grounds in Lake Washington. There is even a viewing window where you can watch them swim by in season.
The botanical gardens have series of paths leading through various landscapes. We were there in Autumn, so the flowers weren't in bloom but the leaves were changing and it was still quite beautiful. Grounds open daily 7-9.
Address: 3015 NW 54th st. Seattle Wa. 98107
Phone: (206) 783-7059
This is the #3 attraction in Seattle after the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. We took a cruise around Elliott Bay and Lake Union, which is connected by the locks and transitions from salt to fresh water. Doors close in back of the vessel and fresh water is pumped into the section. The fresh water raises the boat up to the level of Lake Union. There is also a fish ladder at the locks where you can see the migratin of salmon from the salt water to fresh water, where they spawn.
The Ballard Locks is worth visiting. It is the canal waterway with its locks between Lake Washington and the Puget Sounds.
Often times you can observe beautiful boats using these locks going to and from the Puget Sounds. Witnessed a couple in their kayak within one of the locks. The guy whipped out from his pocket a ring and proposed to his lady companion, who promptly accepted his proposal! How romantic! Another interesting feature is within a side building underground, there's an observation room which has glassed windows showing the water channels through which various species of salmon swim upwards toward Lake Washington during spawning season.
Address: The Ballard Locks can easily be located.
Directions: It is located at the northern tip of Lake Washington, near the vicinity of University of Washington.
If the Salmon are spawning I think this is a cool activity. You can go "underground" and watch the salmon as they attempt to swim through the locks. Additionally, the locks provide an interesting glimpse into how Seattle has altered its natural environment being squeezed between salt and fresh water.
Locks is the gate between George Washington lake and the Ocean.
Salmons jump out of the surface for the lake water is not salty as the oceans waters : ))
While you're visiting the Locks, go across to the other side and descent down the steps. It's worth it, you can see the fish actually swimming upstream.....