Bibon Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Stuart River #19 Fishing: Fish finder detected lots of fish; Numerous otters in the lake
Maps: Fisher F-16, F-17; McKenzie #11, #12 Lake Depth: At least 22 feet
Bushwhack Rating: From Nibin Lake: Piece of Cake; From Sterling Lake: Unknown Lake Size: 27 acres
Campsites: Unknown Wildlife Seen on Visit: Half dozen otters, Loons
Last Visited: September 6, 2014 Lake Elevation: 1295 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1904, 1894, 1875, 1864 and 1822

Bibon Lake

Sundial Lake PMA

Bibon is one of several PMA lakes with a name taken from the Ojibwe language. Bibon means "winter". Bibon is a mostly hard bottomed lake. There were several otters and loons visiting the lake and my fish finder was picking up quite a few fish, so there is likely something worth dropping a line for.

While Bibon is outshined by its neighbor to the east, it is a fine little lake. There are several good places to put up a tent along its shoreline. The north shore of the lake is rocky with cliffs rising up back into the woods.

If you are heading to Sterling Lake from Bibon, the eastern end of the lake has a large rocky shelf. This is where the bushwhack to Sterling Lake begins. There is probably a cairn of rocks piled up here to help identify the spot.

In 1904, the Mule Lake/Stuart Lake/Bibon Lake/Stuart River complex fire, a relatively small burn, scorched a small part of this area which is now part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The known fires in this region were the 1894 fires (possibly two of them) that are known as the Oriniack/Sioux River/Lac La Croix/Crooked Lake complex and the Chad/Cummings/Lac La Croix/Crooked Lake complex. In 1875 the Mule Creek/Sterling Lake/Sunday Lake/Crooked Lake complex burned much of the area. Eleven years prior to that, in 1864, the Little Indian Sioux River/Lac La Croix/Crooked Lake complex burned here. The oldest fire known to affect the area occurred in 1822 and is referred to as the Hook Lake/Hegman Lake/Crooked Lake complex.

Approach to Bibon Lake

The approach to Bibon from the west is through Nibin Lake via a short creek that is usually passable as long as there hasn't been a drought. In 2014 there was a very old beaver dam blocking the creek in shallow water that was a simple liftover. From the east, Bibon Lake is accessed by a fairly long bushwhack along a faint portage trail from Sterling Lake that was once maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. The bushwhack from Sterling Lake is about 150 rods.

Bushwhack to Bibon Lake

Paddling through small creek connecting Bibon and Nibin Lakes. A small beaver dam may force you to get out of the canoe.

Exploring Bibon Lake

Bibon Lake in the BWCA Sundial Lake PMA
This is the view that will greet you as you come out of the small creek that leads back to Nibin Lake. You are looking east at Bibon Lakes south shoreline.

Standing in the small creek looking east at Bibon Lake. Nibin Lake is behind you.

Bibon Lake in the BWCA
Bibon Lake looking east just after coming into the lake from the small creek that flows back into Nibin Lake.

Bibon Lake. Paddling beginning from the small creek that leads back to Nibin Lake, along the south shoreline. A group of three otters is momentarily visible to the left side of the video around the 2:10 mark. Reach the rock shelf which is where the bushwhack to Sterling Lake begins.

Sundial Lake Primitive Management Area Photo
The view of Bibon from the east end of the lake where you find the bushwhack trail leading to Sterling Lake. This rocky shelf is what you are looking for when heading to Sterling from this direction.

BWCA Sundial Lake PMA
Rock cairn marking the location of the starting point for the bushwhack to Sterling Lake (just left of the center of your view). If you were coming from Sterling Lake, this is one of your first views of Bibon Lake.

Leaving the rock shelf, paddle along the north shore of the lake heading west. Take a few depth measurements along the way.

Bibon Lake in the BWCA Sundial PMA
This is a photo from the west end of Bibon Lake looking east along its northern shoreline. That rock shelf would make a reasonable camping spot.

Continue paddling west back toward the small creek leading into Nibin. You may see an otter pop out of the water along the way as many were observed here. The lake has lots of fish visible when paddling through the shallows. Continue on into Nibin Lake through the short creek.

PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
Beartrap River Contest Lake Sinneeg Creek Sterling Lake
Bibon Lake Nibin Lake Sinneeg Lake Sunday Lake
Bunggee Creek Parley Lake Spring Creek Sundial Lake
Bunggee Lake Ritual Lake Sterling Creek White Feather Lake
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