100 years ago, The Locks and Ship Canal were built by Seattle and the Corps of Engineers as a commercial navigation route to develop the City of Seattle.  


Today the Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks are the Nation's busiest with nearly 50,000 vessels/yr. "locking through".

Boats 'lock thru'  24 hours/day, except during maintenance.


In addition, there are significant salmon migrations through the Locks that, in a good year, total over 500,000 salmon.


Funding is based primarily on value of commercial cargo.  Today, commercial cargo is a small percentage of boat traffic...even the Fishing Fleet goes through empty and is not counted.  As a result, the Locks are significantly underfunded.


The Locks (See Map) are a Seattle Icon, National Historic Site
and a top tourist site attracting over 1.3 million visitors/yr.
The Grounds are open from 7:00am to 9:00pm, 365 days a year.


No fees are charged for visitors, commercial ships or private boats.  Even guided tours and summer concerts are free.


Check Out Social Media below for more information

and also the blog Friends of the Ballard Locks


The Aging Locks are in serious need of repairs and upgrades.  The Corps is struggling to maintain needed structural repairs.

But we need your help in upgrading the visitor education facilities ...See What is Needed and How You Help. 

hiram m. chittenden