I just bought a 2010Specialized Hardrock as a first mountain bike. It’s in perfect condition but a little outdated. I am thinking about fully upgrading the bike . I was wondering if that bike is worth upgrading and if so, what would be the first few major upgrades?? I also live in Southern California where the trails are super super rough and steep.
The best thing to do with that bike is to donate it to a local charity thrift store. That bike is too old and too old school to be worth spending another penny on. Then go buy a real modern 29er full-sus Mountainbike. You can get some great budget bikes for about $2000.
For the old bike I would say make sure the spokes are tight, change the saddle. Ride it where you can, but mostly save your pennies and get a new bike. In the 10 years since that bike has come out a LOT of improvements have taken place in mountain bike products. Geometry, components, materials, pretty much everything. The money you put into that old bike will not allow you to take advantage of everything out there and delay you from getting into a more recent bike.
BUT, if that is the bike you have, for sure ride that bike. The bike may limit some of what you can tackle, but you can ride. When you finally can upgrade you will be blown away by the capabilities of new bikes.
I agree with the rest of the comments here. Don’t spend a lot of money on this bike. If it is what you have definitely enjoy it. You don’t want to rebuild or fully upgrade this. That money would be better saved on a used bike as sangier suggested. If you know what you are looking at and for Craigslist can also have good deals on used bikes but you need to know what you are looking at and for.