It's too much if you intend to be in Scottsdale by early afternoon. Just taking the 89 route will be a 3-4 hour drive without stops. If Scottsdale is the priority and early arrival is a must, take 89A to 260 in Cottonwood then over to I-17.
If you can afford a later arrival at Scottsdale then use the full day and enjoy Prescott and Wickenburg. That would be my choice. You've already learned in your planning process that you have to make cuts and can't do it all.
Hwy 17 is not so bad, wonderful stands of saguaro cacti along the way. Once you are in the valley you can take the Carefree Hwy east over to Scottsdale Road or Pima Rd and take that south into Scottsdale. You will see some of the valley's rural character and the northern part of Scottsdale, some lovely residential areas in the open desert. Once you hit the 101 freeway you can take that into downtown if that's where you are headed.
Yes, it would be shorter...
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.