Oooh, the ride to Hyder I still remember to this day because on the little dogleg in, you ride closer to a glacier than anywhere on the route. I remember a sign saying instead of "Caution, Falling Rock!" something like "Caution, Falling Glacier!" and we all rode like hell by it as fast as possible. The other thing Hyder NOW has is a famous "grizzly bear viewing area" that my snowbird clients show me pictures of. You can stand on a bridge & literally watch grizz fishing.
We stayed in a hostel in Banff and camped at Lake Louise along the way to Jasper, where elk walked around town. It was the most wildlife rich stretch of the trip other than the park service bus tour thru Denali.
Half of us alleviated the drudgery of weeks of wilderness by detouring along the (paved!) Alaska Highway to Whitehorse - we were not about to miss the capital of the Yukon! Added plus: bartering veterinary work for bike repair
Great idea to think about setting aside time to rent a car in Fairbanks and DRIVE to Inuvik. My only regret of the trip was nobody even realized the Arctic Circle was a possible til we came to the turnoff & met people going that way. Miles and miles of opportunity to find a polar bear shaped Yukon license plate.
And yeah, after Denali, people did their own thing.
An *extra* to consider is flying from Anchorage to Juneau to catch the Alaska Marine Highway to Bellingham - you can ride from there to the Seattle airport. They let you pitch tents on deck so you don't have to pay extra for a cabin. Though not a *real* cruise, a park ranger gives talks & points out sights along the way. Takes 3 days and worth every penny of the (now) $379.
I kept my ACA North Star booklet (we didn't have an actual map) & will RV the route in a few years. At the time - pre Robin Williams - I kept thinking that "RV" would make a great horror flick