Hardscrabble Creek connects the Ingalls Creek drainage with the Wenatchee Mountain crest. Steep and difficult to follow, it has no trailhead, but rather begins at a junction with the Ingalls Creek trail, 8.5 miles from the Ingalls Creek Trailhead.
From the turnoff with Ingalls Creek, the route climbs steadily in Hardscrabble Creek basin, becoming difficult to find. The trail trends west, climbing gradually up out of the forest and becoming more evident. Hardscrabble Creek trail ends at a junction with the County Line trail, another hard-to-follow route that borders Chelan and Kittitas counties and offers access to Navaho Peak and other destinations in the Teanaway. The trail also passes below a prominent rock outcropping known as Volcanic Neck.