Ballard Locks

OH MY GOSH!!!! What an educational day! I have made several trips to Seattle and we talked about going down to the Locks but we just never did it. I never knew how this all worked, I am a visual person. I had to see it to understand what Mark was telling me. I highly recommend anyone visiting the area to make this stop!

Here we are entering the Locks.

This is important on some later pictures

Of course we had to geo cashe first! Below is what you can find and where you can look for this cashe. It really is a lot of fun to do for the whole family!

Now we moved down to the Locks. Here is a quote from Wikipedia on what the Locks are.

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, or Ballard Locks, is a complex of locks at the west end of Salmon Bay, in Seattle, Washington‘s Lake Washington Ship Canal, between the neighborhoods of Ballard to the north and Magnolia to the south. The Ballard Locks carry more boat traffic than any other lock in the US, and the Locks, along with the fish ladder and the surrounding Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens attract more than one million visitors annually, making it one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions.

Here are pictures of boats waiting to go through the canal, note the height difference of the boats and the water on the gates.

The first picture is the boat exiting Lake Union which is a higher level than Puget Sound. So they close the gates behind it and let the water out so that it matches the other side so it then can go through the canal!

These pictures are of smaller boats that go through a canal that is adjacent to the larger boat canal.

Note the gate in front of the picture

Is this not totally amazing! It was crazy watching this piece of the canal fill up with water so that they could enter into the lake! There was a person that was in a kayak waiting behind these boats to go through the canal but I did not capture that in my picture. 😢

Now the exciting part, and the beginning of my post I had a picture of a fish talking about the ladder! On my gosh!!!! Hiram Chittenden back in 1910 also engineered the ladder to help fish with their natural spawning. It is incredible to watch what they have done and that the fish know they need to go through this ladder!

These are the different levels within the ladder. The water is flowing down and each fish has to go against the current and actually jump each level. Once they reach the next level they rest awhile to gain their energy to jump to the next one! It is so crazy!

These pictures are the actual fish within the ladder. They have these great glass areas underwater so that you can watch them swim. If you are patient enough you will see them jump.

Of course while watching all of this, we saw these little guys!

The following pictures are of the original building that held the offices when the Locks were being built. The workers would come here at the end of each day to receive their pay which was $2 to $4 a day depending on the job! The workmanship done on this building was beautiful!

What a great day! ❤️

1 thought on “Ballard Locks

  1. Absolutely fascinating – fish ladder! 😳


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