Ballard Locks
"Locking Through" for the first time or with an expensive boat can be very intimidating.   If your boat is smaller than 80 ft. long x 27 ft. wide, you may use the easier small lock.  You just tie up to the side walls that float up or  down.

However on a busy summer weekend you might end up in the large lock with many of all sizes, incl.  large ocean tugs and during low tide, so it is best to be well prepared. ..always carry a couple of 50 ft. lines aboard.
We understand your concerns and offer a number of ways to make your experience a pleasant one:
  • A Boater's Guide to the Locks booklet is available at the visitor center, that you can pick up (sorry we do not mail them out).

  • The website has some excellent detailed information that can be printed out.

  • Also we offer on-site education and help at the Lock Walls on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 7:00pm.

  • You can request personalized help by calling the Lockmaster Control Tower at 206-783-7000   (24 hrs per day)

  • You can contact us by email using the form on the Contact Page