Because of its altitude (5,868′ at Sardine Summit, on the border between Cache and Box Elder Counties), the slope of the road, and its situation high in the mountains), Sardine Canyon often has rapidly changing weather (chains are required from November through March). To help motorists know what to expect before they travel, we created this page.
Entering Sardine Canyon from Cache Valley
Entering Sardine Canyon from Brigham City
A Brief History of Sardine Canyon
Sardine Canyon is what the locals call the stretch of US Highway 89/91 in Utah, which runs from Brigham City, through Manuta, to Wellsville. It also serves as the primary route into Cache Valley from the South. The road travels through a few canyons including Wellsville Canyon, Dry Canyon, and a portion of Sardine Canyon proper.
Some people say the name “Sardine Canyon” came from early travelers who ate sardines (and left piles of sardine cans) as part of their meals on their way to Cache Valley back in the early 1900’s, others say it’s because the old road was narrow, and to pass someone on the roadway located on the steep canyon ledge was “a very tight undertaking” — like sardines packed in a tin.
Since then, the road has been widened to two lanes in each direction, rumble strips, and a cement barrier separating the directions of travel (for the most part).