Adult Salmon pass through from June through October.  Even during peak times, you may not see Salmon as there are a series of runs of different species and each year is different. 

(CLICK HERE) to see a video and learn more or check out the Instagram and Facebook feeds below to see what's happening at the Locks.


Ballard Locks parking?

Free unlimited parking is available in the neighborhoods on both the North and South side of the can walk across the Lock chambers from either side.   Seattle metered parking is available at the North main entrance gate.  This is a City of Seattle parking lot and is tightly patrolled.   All fees and fines collected go to the City of Seattle not the Locks.   Sunday parking is free.  Ask about VIP parking for sponsors and donors.    Click for Map of Locks

how do i take a tour?

FREE Professionally guided tours are available and highly recommended.  Tours start at the visitor center but you can join in anytime without registering.   Call  206-783-7059 for tour schedules.

Weddings are allowed and very popular but you must get a permit to get started.    
Locks weddings are NOT Associated with the City of Seattle Wedding Permit System. 

Photography Only does not require a permit, except for large groups OVER 40 people.


Bottled water is sold in the Visitor Center but food is normally not available.   Picnic lunches are allowed and there are a number of local eating places and sources for takeaway food.


Free Concerts start at 2:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from May through September.  Concerts are held outside the visitor center...Call 206-783-7059 or see Schedule posted under Events.  

Commonly Asked Visitor Questions

The Locks can be intimidating the first time through, especially the Large Locks on busy summer weekends.  NW Boating Info. has an excellent site including a video on "Locking Through"

There are a number of Tour Companies that include the Locks.   If you want to experience the Locks from a boat, try Argosy Cruises.   The Seattle Metro bus system has a "Trip Planner" app that works well.... Or try Uber for a fast, fairly inexpensive ride.

How do i take my own boat through the locks?


by the way, we love dogs (on leash)


when are the locks closed for annual maintenance?

The large locks are closed for 2-3 weeks, starting Nov 6-7.    The small locks are closed for 2 weeks starting March 6-7.   VIP tours inside the Large Locks are available during maintenance.

how do I get to the locks w/o a car?

are food and drink available at the locks?