Skardu is located along the Kohistan-Ladakh terrane, formed as a magmatic arch over a Tethyan subduction zone that was later accreted onto the Eurasian Plate. The region has low seismic activity compared to surrounding regions, suggesting that Skardu is located in a passive structural element of the Himalayan thrust. The stone in the Skardu region is Katzara schist, with a Radiometric age of 37 to 105 million years.

Numerous complex granitic pegmatites and a few alpine-cleft metamorphic deposits are found in the Shigar Valley and its tributaries. Shigar Valley contains the Main Karokoram Thrust separating the metasediments (chlorite to amphibolite grade) on the Asian plate from the southern volcanoclastic rocks of the Kohistan-Ladakh island arc.

Skardu, along with Gilgit, is a major tourism, trekking and expedition hub in Gilgit–Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region, which includes four of the world’s 14 Eight-thousander peaks, attracts tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October; except at this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather.