Explore the Keweenaw

Lake Superior Shipwrecks

Searching for shipwrecks along the Keweenaw coast is a great way to experience the magic and mystery of this remote peninsula.

Don't Forget
Reservations with a diver charter service, diving certification.
Best Time to Go

Fresh Coast Tip

Don’t want to dive? When conditions are right, some of these shipwrecks can be seen via glass-bottom boat or even from a kayak or paddle board. Whether you dive or paddle, this adventure requires a lot of thinking and planning—your best bet is to enlist the help of a local guide or tour company.

The oldest known shipwreck, the John Jacob Astor, lies just beyond the shoreline of Fort Wilkins State Park, where it ran aground on the treacherous tip of the peninsula—the remains, a mere 35 feet deep.

While this ship lies in ruins, thanks to the harsh winter weather, several other wrecks remain largely intact, including the 1910 Langham, the 1919 Tioga, and the 1910 Wasaga, which features a cargoload of turn-of-the-century farm equipment.

One of the most popular shipwreck dive sites is the fairly recent wreck of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mesquite, which ran aground in 1989 and remains in excellent condition.

Since 1844, the Keweenaw has seen at least 140 vessels lost to the wiles of the Big Lake, but only 40 have been identified.

That means plenty are still left to be found by divers with the experience, enthusiasm, and sheer grit to plumb Lake Superior’s icy depths. Even if you don’t come across any shipwrecks, the lake is sure to reward your efforts with its rarest agates, copper veins, and other geological treasures.

Photo: Greg Maino / @igmaino