Hozers Benches
Last update July 1, 2021
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Richard Gilmore passed away on July 1, 2017 at the age of 79. Griffith Park was his favorite place to run the trails and it was his wish that a bench be put up high near Mt. Hollywood where trail runners could take a break and look out "from sea to shining sea." Bob Spears contacted the LA Parks Foundation and negotiated with them for a location and signage. It was a wonderful surprise when so many people wanted to donate and we ended up with enough for 3 benches. Below is the signage on the benches.

Hozer trained in Griffith Park for many of his trail marathons and ultras from the early 1980's with the Foothill Flyers and has a loop starting from the Merry-go-Round parking lot - map. This loop now also hits all three benches. Later he laid many Hash House Harrier trails in the Park and did trail maintenance whenever he found obstructions or over growth.

The benches were dedicated to Richard "Dickey" "Hozer" "Mongo" Gilmore near Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park Sunday November 12th, 2017. Below is a map with the shortest route starting from the Griffith Park Bird Sanctuary at 2900 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 to visit the benches. The distance from the Bird Sanctuary to the first bench is about 1.25 miles on single track and dirt road with a climb of 600 ft to the first bench. Hiking it took us 30 minutes so plan your start time accordingly. Distance between benches is about 1/2 mile. Bring water, there will not be a drinking fountain until the 3rd bench at Dante's View.

Parking is free on the east side of Vermont Canyon Road and but it fills up fast by 9:30am on weekends. If there is no program at the Greek Theatre you can use their parking lots G and H for free and walk up a few hundred yards. Carpooling is suggested

Bird Sactuary

The Charlie Turner all dirt road trail up from the Observatory is a little easier and about the same distance with a 400 ft climb however the parking is limited to 112 spots which were 2/3 full when we checked on a Sunday morning, and costs $4/hr after 10am on weekends and noon on weekdays, but handycaps are free.

Directions from the 5 Freeway: Exit on to Los Feliz Blvd and go west about a mile and turn right on Hillhurst Ave. which will merge into N. Vermont Ave. Find parking just after the Greek and walk up toward the Bird Sanctuary sign, LFH - map.

There is a brick dedicated to Hozer in the courtyard of the Los Angeles Fire Dept. Museum. Take a tour of the museum on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. See photos below of the museum. From the Greek it is about a 15 minute drive - map & directions - to a large parking structure at 1439 N. Cahuenga just across the alley on the south side of the CNN building. Parking in this lot is a flat $10/day. The Museum is 1/2 block south at 1355 N. Cahuenga, Hollywood CA 90028. Parking meters on the surrounding streets are only for a limit of 1 hr or 2 hrs and cost $1 per hour. Leave Bowser at home, no dogs allowed at the Museum.

Click on the map for a full size to print and take with you. There is free parking on Vermont Canyon Road between the Greek Theatre and the Bird Sanctuary. If there are no special events at the Greek or Observatory you may park at the Greek parking lot past the theatre. Observatory parking is limited to 112 spaces and costs $4/hr.

The Walker/Hiker trail is to the left of the Bird Sanctuary sign and along a chain link fence. Do not take the other trails near the bathrooms as they are just a short loop up and back the canyon. The trail becomes a steep single track with a few switchbacks. There are a few short rocky sections, but all are easily hikeable. As you approach the top you will come to a multi-trail junction. Take the second one to the left to go up to Captain's Roost. The first bench is about 400 ft. past Captain's Roost and has a good view of the Hollywood sign and the shining sea on a clear day.

Bird Sactuary

Bench #1 Mongo

At the first bench you will see the side of the bench commemorating Richard "Mongo" Gilmore's 34 years of service with the Los Angeles City Fire Dept.

Bench #1 view

On a clear day you get a good view of the sunset, shining sea and the Hollywood Sign.

Bench #2 pipe trail FD

To get to the second bench, continue up the dirt road to the North Trail junction on the north side of Mt. Hollywood. Turn left to go north on the North Trail. You will see a single track with a large water pipe on your left after a few hundred yards - take it up, the bench is on the north side of that hill next to where the Tea House was.

Burbank View bench

This bench overlooks Burbank and the west side of the San Fernando Valley. Richard was nick named Hozer, since he was a fireman, when he started running with the Los Angeles Hash House Harriers in 1989. But he ran his most runs with the Long Beach H3, and every month with the Foothill H3. He impersonated Jerry Garcia of the Greatful Dead every year at the Orange County H3 gathering in Palm Springs. Hozer founded the Randsburg H3 and was Grand Master of the Avalon H3.

North Trail jct view

View looking back down the pipe trail to the North Trail junction, Mt. Hollywood, and Dantes View. Walking time between benches is 10-15 minutes and about 1/2 mile with 50ft altitude change.

Bench 3 toward Dantes View.

Bench 3 is almost 50 yards down the Hogback Trail to the east of the Dante's view drinking fountain.

Dante's View View bench

Nancy points to the Griffith Observatory you could see if it was a clear day from bench #3.

LAFD Museum Bldg.

The LAFD Museum is the old Station 27 which is now next door. A courtyard and memorial were added along with old fire vehicles and memorabilia.

LAFD Museum second floor

LAFD Museum second floor

The old living quarters on the second floor has a collection of firefighter helmets from around the world and other memorabilia. No, you cannot slide down the pole.

LAFD Museum second floor

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