Do the CDT portion from Salida to Twin Lakes. Lovely stretch of trail, relatively easy logistically (Drop off at Monarch Pass, pick up on HWY 82 by Twin Lakes).
After you are done, you can easily go into Leadville for a well deserved meal.
Coming from the Denver metro area, Leadville is really easy to get to as well. The Leadville Hostel is really hiker friendly if you need to layover a night.
If you want to make it easy on your BIL, there is a bus from Leadville to Copper Mtn (off I70) daily IIRC.