Isle Royale offers exciting scuba diving opportunities. Here the cold waters of Lake Superior maintain a variety of shipwrecks in outstanding condition for exploration and photography. These sunken vessels are protected by the National Park Service as cultural treasures to be enjoyed by you, the experienced scuba diver. In order to preserve fragile natural and cultural resources, areas such as the inland lakes and the Passage Island small boat cove are closed to diving.
Diving-related illnesses, especially those requiring a recompression chamber, pose a severe threat to the life of any diver. The closest recompression chamber is in Marquette, Michigan. Diving parties should be knowledgeable in CPR and emergency procedures for accidents. Carry an adequate first-aid kit including an oxygen delivery system and know how to use them.
Invasive species are considered to be one of the top threats to the ecological integrity of our national parks. Please take the time before and during your trip to do your part to repel the invasion.
Wash all dive gear in warm chlorinated tap water. Disinfect your wetsuit with a special-purpose shampoo. Dry all dive gear and wetsuit for seven days before island departure.
Read more about invasive species at Isle Royale National Park and what you can do to help stop the spread.
Isle Royale Charters
Charts & Publications
Lake Chart #14976 and publications on Isle Royale shipwrecks are available from the Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association through mail order and on the island.
Divers must register at the Rock Harbor, Windigo, or Houghton visitor centers before diving, and return your completed copy of the registration form to a visitor center or by mail. Your diving registration helps us manage underwater sites. Canadian vessels and divers must clear customs when they enter the park.
Occasionally you may discover artifacts of high quality and value. Report these to a park ranger as soon as possible. Please do not remove the artifacts.
Shipwrecks are part of the park's cultural resources.Help us to preserve them. Federal law prohibits the removal, or disturbance in any manner of underwater cultural sites and associated artifacts. This includes shipwrecks or remains of ships, as well as other antiquities on the bottom lands of waters in Isle Royale National Park. Penalties include prison sentences and fines up to $10,000. Rewards up to $500 may be paid to anyone who furnishes information that leads to conviction of a criminal violation.
Dive sites or boats must be marked with the standard diver down flag (red with white diagonal strip, minimum 12 inches by 12 inches) whenever divers are in the water. When at the surface divers must be within 100 feet of the flag. The flag must be illuminated when diver operations take place between sunset and sunrise.
Major Shipwreck Sites
George M. Cox
Last updated: January 3, 2020