I’ve paddled from Creede to Del Norte, a 5 mile stretch near Monte Vista, and from Alamosa to Lobatos Bridge. Above Del Norte is scenic and swift outside of South Fork’s encroachment. The first diversion dam is just above Del Norte and one of the higher ones I’ve seen in the SLV, 10’+. From Del Norte to Alamosa there’s a diversion dam every few miles and some provide whitewater. Bird watching is good and it’s a small State Wildlife Area between Monte Vista and Alamosa. In the Alamosa Refuge you’re in a cane corridor most of the way with limited views. I did a spring dawn paddle there and saw several Great Horned Owls perched near the river. At La Sauses, the carry-in is relativity easy except for getting poked by a yucca. You enter the San Luis Hills there which gives it a canyon feel and you get the added flow of the Conejos which is good since summer flows coming down from Alamosa are low. Past CO-142 you lose the hills on the east, but then drop into a short basalt canyon with a long class II rapid at its exit that’ll be bony below 500 CFS.
Ugh. I was thinking about rallying down there solo this weekend, but I see the bottom has dropped out. They must have turned on the ditches because the flow went from 325 to 81 at Alamosa and it's only 108 at Lobatos now.... not enough to float.