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Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder

In & Outdoor Free
Public Gardens, Educational
Ballard Locks, Northwest 54th Street, Seattle, WA
URL: Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder...  Phone: 206-783-7059

Activity Overview

Seattle's Ballard Locks not only links Puget Sound with Lake Washington and Lake Union but it also serves as an educational facility for adults and children alike. Boats go through the locks everyday to move from Puget Sound to the other side of the locks and vice versa.

The place also features a 21-step fish ladder that helps facilitate the upstream migration of salmon. Depending on the month, you may catch a different variety of salmon passing through the ladder.

Things to Do

Watch boats go through the locks or better yet, go on a sunset cruise and experience it first hand.

Visit the fish ladder viewing area and watch a school of salmon cross to the freshwater to spawn.

Take the family for a picnic. Bring blankets, food, and drinks and watch the boats pass by the locks.

Go to the Visitors' Center and watch the free video screening discussing how the locks work.

Stroll in the beautiful Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden. Catch local bands play live music every weekend during summer.

Seattle Locks and Fish Ladder Insider Tips

  • If you are visiting in the summer, make sure to come early to get a parking spot. Parking spots are hard to come by on a busy summer afternoon.
  • You need to pay for parking when you go from Mon-Fri 8AM - 6PM. It's free if you go after 6PM or on a Sunday. Alternatively, you can park on the streets.
  • It's a nice place to take good photos. Bring your trusty camera.
  • The Visitor's Center usually holds interesting exhibits on the second floor. Check it out if they have one ongoing.
  • It's best to visit on a weekday to avoid the crowd.

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