Hard Scrabble Falls is the only waterfall in the Van Zandt valley that can be easily accessed. The falls drop approximately 280 feet in three tiers - a stairstep fall of about 160 feet, followed by two drops of about 60 feet each, with the final drop being separated from the other two by about 200 linear feet. The lower tier is easily accessible but the upper tier can only be seen by climbing a steep slope adjacent to the falls - with the aid of a rope in places. The falls depend largely on precipitation and have been known to dry out completely in the late summer. Part of the falls can be seen from Highway 9 in the vicinity of Clipper Road when they are flowing well. The falls are said to be located on private land, but at last inspection, the area was not posted. Please be good stewards and don't litter, make a mess or generally do anything that would push the landowners to post this waterfall.
- Hard Scrabble Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: White Eagle Falls
According to the USGS, the name White Eagle Falls has also been attached to this feature. However, it is possible that the lower and upper tiers have been recognized as two different waterfalls - one being Hard Scrabble Falls and the other White Eagle Falls. This is purely speculation at this point, so it will be assumed until proven otherwise that White Eagle is simply an alternate name. Hard Scrabble Falls Gulch and Creek was named in 1860 by a group of settlers who spent 4 days scrambling 8 miles from Lake Whatcom over Stuart Mountain to the valley below the falls.
Drive north along SR 9 to the town of Van Zandt (about 10 miles from Sedro Woolley), then turn right (west) on Potter Road. Drive for just over 3 miles to where the trail starts on the right near a power pole (don't park at or block the driveway across the road). The trail has been kept in good condition by the locals and follows the creek easily to the base of the falls in 1/3, crossing the creek twice. From the base of the falls, the trail crosses a third time and climbs up a very precarious series of ledges with the aid of ropes to views of the upper tiers. The trail leading to the top part of the falls is very dangerous and NOT for children and the sole reason this has earned a "difficult" access rating.