Papagueria is bounded on the north by the Gila River; on the east by the Baboquivari Mountains; on the south by the Altar River; while the western boundary is formed by the Growler Mountains (Lumholtz, 1912:16). It is an extremely arid and inhospitable land. "A warm climate, almost constant sunshine, and very little rain set the area apart as a land of small population, both animal and human" (Bryan, 1925:1). About 80% of the area is made up of valleys with an average elevation of about 2300 feet (Bryan, 1925:101). The remainder of the area is composed of isolated mountain ranges and their pediments ranging from 3000 to 7441 feet above sea level, the average elevation being 4000 feet (see Fig. 3). Winter temperatures are mild, favoring a long growing season.
The average annual rainfall for the region is from five to ten inches (Bryan, 1925:79).
The location of Valshni Village in the broad flats of the Baboquivari Valley was ideal for an agricultural community. Bryan (1925:249) says of this valley:
The streams on passing from the pediment to the alluvial slope lose their dissecting habit and form extensive adobe flats which, with the resulting flood water fields, are characteristic of the floor of the valley.
One of the chief problems of the residents of Valshni Village must have been their water supply. There is no evidence that any of the washes in the Baboquivari Valley have carried a permanent flow of water in recent times. This may be an erroneous conclusion. However, if there was not a permanent water supply at the time of occupation, it is probable that the people stored water in reservoirs for use during the dry season. Also, they may have moved to permanent springs and streams in the mountains when water in the valley was not available.