Scuba Diving in Minneapolis wreck, Lake Michigan, Michigan USA

Skill Level:
Intermediate to Advanced
60ft /18m - 124ft /38m
Diving Season:
June to September
Varies from good to poor
Lake Michigan, the second largest of the Great Lakes of North America by volume and the third largest by surface area, is actually the only one located entirely within the United States. Over the years, a large number of ships have sunk in the Straits of Mackinac, due to sudden and harsh storms. The Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve accommodates more than thirteen shipwrecks. One of them is the Minneapolis wreck.

Minneapolis was a passenger and package freight steamer. Although she was first placed in service in 1873, it was not before 1888 that she was converted to a freight only steamer, by removing her upper deck cabins. On April 4, 1894 she was cut by heavy ice and submerged in Lake Michigan. Fortunately, no lives were lost, as the crew boarded one of the schooner-barges that she was towing. She is located southwest of the Mackinac Bridge’s south tower in 124 ft/37.79 m depth of water.

Divers can reach her deck and engines at about 60 ft/18.28 m depth. Her bow is broken open and her stern has begun decaying. Her main deck is collapsing downward. Her engine, boiler, deck equipment and windlass can be explored. The impressive rudder has removed from the hull and rests on the bottom. Currents near the shipwreck, can make it a very difficult dive.