TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Vehicle entry to Shoshone Falls and Dierkes Lake will now cost an extra couple of bucks.

The Twin Falls City Council on Monday approved a request to raise the per-vehicle entrance fee from $3 to $5. The last time the fee was raised was in 1998.

The extra revenue generated from the fee increase will help pad the funds for park improvements, said the city’s Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Davis.

She told the council that the department would also like to install equipment so that credit cards can be accepted at the ticket booth. That alone will cost around $10,000 but should be covered by the revenue created from ticket sales. Revenue would also go to road and parking lot improvement projects.

It makes sense the road from the ticket booth down into the canyon and the parking lots at Dierkes Lake and Shoshone Falls are part of the park system, said Councilwoman Nikki Boyd. Davis explained that the road above the ticket booth is another matter; that section of road is managed by the county.

Councilman Christopher Reid said he received several emails from people saying they are excited to use credit cards because it is more convenient. He asked Davis, however, if the parks and rec department would install WiFi or use a data hot spot to accept the cards. Davis said options are still being looked at but there would have to be a stable Internet connection because data access in the canyon is spotty.

The city started charging a $1 entrance fee in 1980 and raised it to $2 in 1990. The current $3 per-vehicle fee has been in place since 1998.

Councilman Chris Talkington said raising the fee to $5 might seem “like a pretty steep hike,” but was in favor of the proposal because it will help better manage the park.

“While it may feel like a significant increase when you look at the percentage perspective, $5 into that park is equal to what it costs to get into state parks currently on a day pass,” Mayor Shawn Barigar added.

He said the city has previously tried to accommodate local users by offering discounts through coupons and other means, and that he would be willing to have those discussions moving forward.

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